Compounds in an herbal remedy can cause teratogenic effects.


Criteria for implicating an herbal remedy as teratogenic:

(1) An herb in the remedy contains an ingredient known to be a teratogen.

(2) The remedy contains an adulterant or contaminant known to be a teratogen.

(3) There has been a significant exposure during the first half of the pregnancy (based on frequency and/or dose).

(4) The fetus or neonate shows a malformation consistent with the exposure.

(5) Exclusion of other exposures (chemical or infectious) that could explain the findings.

(6) Normal cytogenetic testing.

Potential Teratogen

May be contained in

hypoglycin A

Blighia sapida


Conium maculatum

quinolizidine alkaloids (aragyrine, cytosine, N-methylcytisine

Genista tinctoria


Herbal compounds may also be:

(1) embryotoxic

(2) an abortient


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